While early February remains cold throughout much of Nepal, by later in the month the mercury rises. Temperatures in the mountains remain low and snow will stick around, but winter is on its way out. In Namche Bazaar (11,290 feet/3440 meters) the average February temperature is 43°F (6°C), which isn't too cold, but certainly not warm.
If you're trekking later in the month, you might encounter some surprisingly pleasant days. Skies are also likely to be clear, with little humidity blocking the mountain views.
Crowds & Costs
Because winter is the low season, it should be easy to get a bed in the teahouses that are open along the Everest Base Camp trail or in the wider Everest region. However, be aware that some close for the winter, so you won't have as many accommodation options to choose from as you would in the busy seasons. Your guide will know which places remain open, and will find you appropriate accommodation. Read more about hiring a guide in our article, Role of Your Local Guide in Nepal.
As in January, trekking in February can be better value for money than trekking in the peak season. Flights to Lukla don't fill up as fast, giving you a greater pick of flight times. Of the accommodation that remains open, you're more likely to get a good room for a good price than you are when the trails are very busy.
The trails in the Everest region are much less crowded in February than in the peak months of October or April. This means no random strangers in your mountain photos and less jostling for space at viewpoints. You'll have the more unobstructed views almost to yourself. As EBC is Nepal's most popular and crowded trek, going in the low-season has the potential to make a huge difference to your experience.
Some higher-elevation treks are not recommended in February due to cold temperatures and snowfall. Treks that require crossing high passes (such as the Three Passes Trek) are likely to be snowbound, although this can also happen during more popular months too.
Treks that stay below 13,000 feet will be more comfortable and safer in February. Even so, it's essential to check (or have your guide check) the weather conditions as you progress along the trek, and be prepared to turn back or not proceed any further at any point.
Unless you have a lot of experience trekking in cold temperatures and at high altitude, you might want to swap the EBC trek out for a shorter trek in the Everest region that doesn't go all the way to Base Camp. Namche Bazaar is an attractive Sherpa town that's two days' walk from Lukla, and by basing yourself there you can take day hikes around the region, and even some overnight trips if the conditions are favorable.
The views are likely to be spectacular at this time of year, and you're less likely to have altitude or temperature-related problems at Namche Bazaar. A benefit of trekking in the less-congested low-season is that you can make decisions to take overnight trips from Namche once you're there, without needing to book lodging far in advance.
The 'Pioneers' Route' trek from Jiri to Lukla is also a good option for a February trek. It's so named because it was the trekking trail that early Western mountaineers took to access the Everest region, before the airport was built at Lukla. Jiri is a day's drive from Kathmandu.
Alternatively, fly from Kathmandu to Phaplu and trek through the Solukhumbu region from there. Few people trek through the Solukhumbu these days (favoring the higher-up Khumbu instead), but those who do find an interesting culture that contrasts with the Tibetan Buddhist Sherpa culture of higher altitudes. These treks take 4-7 days, depending on which route you take. From Lukla, you could continue to Namche Bazaar and base yourself there for some day hikes, as mentioned above.
February is also an ideal time to treat yourself to a luxury tour. Travelers with a bit more money to spend will enjoy staying in some of the Everest region's finest lodges (such as Yeti Mountain Homes and Everest Summit Lodges). These can be combined with helicopter transfers one or both ways, which offer an unforgettable experience. While this kind of trip is special at any time of year, it's even more so in winter, when you can retreat from the cold to a cozy boutique hotel in the mountains.
What to Bring
It's essential to be well prepared for the cold in February, for safety as well as comfort's sake. Although many teahouses provide blankets, these won't necessarily be adequate for winter conditions, and it's a good idea to layer them with your own. A sleeping bag made to keep you warm in -22°F (-33°C) conditions is ideal.
While the sun will warm things up in the day, at higher altitudes you will still need to trek in warm clothes, so bring a warm down jacket (ideal because it's so lightweight). Warm clothes for the evenings and nights are also essential, as well as good woolen hats, gloves, socks, and scarves.
Almost all winter equipment can be bought or rented at trekking shops in Thamel, Kathmandu, in case you don't have your own winter trekking gear and don't need it at home. Find out more in the following article: Buying and Renting Trekking Gear in Kathmandu.
Getting There & Away
The quickest way of getting to the Everest region at any time of year is to fly from Kathmandu to Lukla. While rain is less likely to cause delays and cancellations in February than in some other months, Kathmandu does experience fog in the winter, though less so later in February. This has the potential to disrupt flights to or from Lukla, even if the conditions in the mountains are good.
Read more about this flight in the following article: How to Get from Kathmandu to Lukla.
Events in February
The people of the Everest region are primarily Sherpa and follow Tibetan Buddhism. They don't usually celebrate the same festivals as Hindu Nepalis in Kathmandu and other hill areas. But, February is a good month for festivals in Kathmandu and some other parts of Nepal, with Maha Shivaratri and Holi (the festival of spring) often held in late February (and sometimes early March). While you probably won't see these celebrated in the Everest region, if your trip to Nepal coincides with these festivals, you can enjoy them in Kathmandu before or after your trek.